We all face turbulence in life, increasingly so in the busy world we live in. With the increasing visibility and presence of wars and conflict, disease and pestilence, death and chaos, one would be forgiven for thinking the world is approaching the apocalypse. But turbulence is more than an environment full of metaphorical horsemen. Turbulence can be interpreted as a lack of direction, decreased visibility, increased confusion, and disruption to ones path.
I choose the word turbulence to define times such as these as its scientific meaning depicts so many metaphors and similes that are applicable. Rapid changes in pressure and velocity are often described by their Irregularity, Diffusion, Rationality and Dissipation. One way of dealing with turbulence in the physical world is to develop a tough, hard outer layer - not allowing things to gain purchase on you. However, that is easier said than done in the world of metaphor, and one would find it difficult to develop a psychological tough outer layer in order to not interact with passing influences, while maintaining healthy relationships with others.
The other way of reducing turbulence in the physical world is to ease vortexes caused by ones passing. However, one way or another we all also leave a trail of influence where ever we go. It may be our responsibility to try to leave that trail as positive, calming and cooperative to others behind us as possible; but this can be difficult without sacrificing ones own velocity.
It seems that the best ways of diminishing turbulence in the physical world are twofold. The first is to develop a honeycomb internal structure, resulting in incredible inner strength, and the channeling of multiple flows without letting them disrupt each other. The second is to develop a multidimensional, textured outer layer, commonly referred to as a 'shark skin' coating. By developing a tough yet flexible, and multifaceted outer layer we can increase our resistance to outside influences, while still reacting to and accommodating them.
At the end of the day, turbulence occurs both physically and psychologically. Sometimes it can happen unexpectedly and sometimes you can see it coming a mile away. The key is to be able to move with it, not to panic, and to trust your inner strength and outer protection to get you through. We must always remember the old adage of the Sufi, "This too shall pass".
It is important to remember when dealing with clients that the urge to voluntarily enter the turbulence in order to help them can be detrimental to one's self ("I'm just going outside. I may be some time" - Oates). It can be easy to find yourself immersed in a client's world, and while understanding is useful, entering the blizzard is not! (Let's not forget the eventual outcome of Scott's famous Antarctic journey).
In IDT we often refer to the words of another wise elder "Lean back before you fall in!" - Russell Withers.
Kelly Withers | General Manager
Interactive Drawing Therapy Limited